In most areas, it prefers partial shade, but in cool-summer areas it can take full sun. Let’s break them into two categories, upright or dissected and weeping. The size of the Japanese maple differs by cultivar. Afternoon sun is rarely tolerated by any cultivar, often resulting in sunburnt leaves. Smaller cultivars are the perfect size for shrub borders and large patio containers. Backfill the hole, then water heavily. Japanese Maple Care. Japan, China, Korea, parts of Mongolia and Russia. How Do You Protect Japanese Maple Trees from Winter Damage? The best time to prune them is in July and August. Any heavy pruning should be performed in late winter before the leaf buds begin to open. Rest assured, when you buy Japanese Maple trees for sale online from Wilson Bros Gardens we safely ship the highest quality container grown specimens that are ready upon arrival to plant and thrive for years to come in your landscape and gardens - Guaranteed! The shape is one of the most important aspects of a maple tree. When you are growing Japanese maples, the trees need a location with full sun or partial shade, but planting a Japanese maple in full sun may result in scorched leaf margins on young trees in summer, especially in hot climates. This variety is also sturdier in appearance and bears reddish-purple flowers in spring. To keep the form of a weeping Japanese maple tree, you should remove any branches that cross the midline of the tree. Plant them in a container with adequate drainage holes, because Japanese maples don't like to have their roots sitting in water. Japanese maples are susceptible to common pests like aphids, scale, Japanese beetles, and borers. Learn tips for creating your most beautiful (and bountiful) garden ever. Cut back on the amount of water in late summer to intensify the fall color. Maple trees are usually of two types, lace leaf & Upright leaf. Pruning a Japanese maple tree is not necessarily difficult, but may be intimidating at first — particularly for a weeping or “laceleaf” cultivar (Acer palmatum Var. Japanese maples need very little pruning––prune out the lower branches if desired and remove any branches that have crossed for improved appearance. This Japanese maple is a petite shade tree with stunning and unique coral colored bark. Although Japanese maples don't require a high amount of fertilizing, maintaining a low level of fertility throughout the season is necessary to keep your trees healthy and happy. Of all the Japanese maple problems dead branches can be one f the most alarming. There are hundreds of different cultivars of the Japanese maple in a range of sizes, colors, shapes, and leaf textures. Cut out scraggly interior twigs and branches but leave the structural branches as they are. You’ll see less scorching as the tree ages. The leaves have five to nine palmate lobes. In addition, growing Japanese maples in a location with more exposure to bright sunlight leads to more intense fall color. Pruning a red maple tree (or any other type of maple tree) isn’t a difficult job, but it does take some time. The Coral Bark is a large Japanese maple tree, sometimes reaching as much as 25 feet. Protect your Japanese maple from areas that experience strong winds. Japanese maple trees like moist well-drained soil. Japanese maple care is easy. Grow Japanese maple in filtered sun to part shade. Sign up to get all the latest gardening tips! Find more gardening information on Gardening Know How: Keep up to date with all that's happening in and around the garden. You should contact a Japanese maple specialist in your area to determine whether or not anyone will want them. It may also have a weeping shape. The easiest way to regulate the moisture level of the soil surrounding a Japanese maple is to mulch it. With over 1,000 (yes, ONE THOUSAND) varieties and cultivars including hybrids, the iconic Japanese maple tree is among the most versatile small trees for use in the landscape. Prized for their striking leaves, they provide visual interest in fall and winter thanks to their leaf and samara colors. But Japanese maples will create their own naturally beautiful forms with no pruning at all. Create a veiled top. Most horticulturalists refer to cultivars of Acer palmatum as Japanese maples, but a few also include A. japonicum cultivars. It is a suitable tree for full shade if needed, especially in the warmer zones, but different cultivars have different needs, so look into them before making a purchase. Next, prune off dead wood — that is, any dead twigs or brittle branches that no longer grow foliage. Cutting Limbs Safely Make a small cut on the bottom of the limb 2 to 3 inches (5.1 to 7.6 cm) from … While they have a reputation for being fussy, if you plant them in their preferred condition, they are really not that difficult to care for, although they are slow-growing so you'll need to have a bit of patience. Mulch protects the roots from the heat in summer, the cold in winter and reduces the frequency of watering. The Japanese maple tree is renowned for its foliage. If your tree is large, you may need a ladder to cut the top … They Like A Lot Of Mulch Japanese Maples like a lot of mulch. The different cultivars are also grafted onto rootstock. dissectum).We might perceive it as fragile and delicate, and we’re afraid to mess up its natural beauty through improper pruning. A high-quality potting soil is just fine as long as it's one that drains well. The Japanese maple (Acer palmatum) as its name suggests, is native to Japan, but has been cultivated in Western cultures since the 1800s.In Japanese, it is known as Momiji.The name translates literally to mean "crimson leaf," but in the vernacular also means "baby's hand." The top layer of the laceleaf maple should form a protective top that resembles a shell. From this zoomed out shot, you can see that the top branch crosses the center line. Be sure to keep mulch several inches away from the trunk of the tree. Otherwise, Japanese maples do best in zones 6 to 8, with some varieties that thrive in zone 5 as well. 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It can range from a shrub to a small tree. Let’s get to know these wonderfully elegant, fuss-free beauties a … Until your tree is well-established, take the time to water it whenever the soil feels dry, particularly when it hasn't been raining much. In the fall, the leaves will turn to brilliant shades of red, orange, yellow or purple. Your Japanese maple may be dying from root rot, or "wet feet." Aside from their use in bonsai, dwarf Japanese maples can also be grown as traditional container trees and moved about the yard throughout the season. In this case, it was easy to decide which branch to cut. As with most fabulous plants, there’s plenty of story to tell. We planted a Japanese Maple 2 years ago, and the top 4 inches had no leaves, Last year, no leaves in the top 10 inches. ... For some odd reason the top 18” of my Japanese Maple died off. However, I don't suggest actually 'wrapping' the tree. An annual pruning of Japanese maple trees and shrubs to remove dead or dying branches and to keep the tree… Water the tree deeply in the absence of rain. You can make small, corrective cuts any time of year. These trees have a reputation for being hard to grow, but this is largely undeserved. Japanese maples are spectacular landscape tree specimens that offer year-round color and interest. Now that’s tree preservation. With attention given to their location in the garden and some minimal care, they will thrive and increase in beauty every year. Avoid cutting the maple tree's top—focus instead on the center and sides to retain the tree's natural shape. Caring for Japanese maples in summer is mainly a matter of providing enough water to prevent stress. Other than that, simply remove any dead, diseased, or damaged branches. Few plants can equal the beauty and command of a Japanese Maple in the autumn landscape. The average size is 15–25 feet tall and wide. The trees grow well in almost any type of soil as long as it is well-drained. Up to 4 feet tall and 5 feet wide. Prune your maple in the late fall while it is dormant. Although Japanese maples prefer well-draining soil, they also like to receive regular waterings. They thrive under the shelter of taller deciduous trees. Apply the water to the root zone slowly so that the soil can absorb as much water as possible. Stop when the water begins to run off. While the tree is without leaves, it is easier to see its... 2. Water the tree deeply in the absence of rain. Mulch is a good friend of your maple. They can be grown in the garden, in containers and of course they are ideal s… By using The Spruce, you accept our, 12 Trees With Brilliant Fall Color Plus Other Advantages, Weeping Cherry Trees and Other Cascading Trees, Red, Yellow, Green and Variegated Japanese Maple Trees, Crimson Queen Japanese Maple Tree Profile, Growing the Hedge Maple in the Home Garden. Amend the soil by digging in one part peat and one part sand to one part topsoil until the soil drains well when you pour water on it. It becomes richer in autumn. Exactly what you prune out of your Japanese maple will depend upon the variety of tree you have. This is important because the beauty of maple trees lies in the beauty of its lovely branches growing at similar rate and style. Fertilize your Japanese maple in late winter or early spring after it is a year old. Continue reading to learn more about how to grow a Japanese maple tree. As the name suggests, Japanese maples originated in East Asia and they are often part of traditional Japanese landscaping and garden design. Step 1 Check the soil drainage around the Japanese maple. Dig a 6-inch deep hole 2 feet from the trunk. Loamy and sandy soil will work well, but avoid soil that has high alkalinity; Japanese maples thrive with slight acidity. The first is to prune off lower limbs that crowd other low-growing shrubs or possibly impede a walkway. Plant them where you need to add fine texture in the garden. Topping Japanese maples is butchery. We want to avoid damaging the branches by tying them, especially as … Pruning your Maple tree should depend on the type of Japanese Maple Tree you have. Maple sap runs in the winter, so pruning at that time can cause the wound to ooze sap, which weakens the tree. The Coral Bark Japanese maple grows well in full sun even in warmer climates. Before you get started, make sure you have all the necessary tools and safety equipment. While A. palmatum is hardy in USDA plant hardiness zones 6 through 8, A. japonicum extends the growing area into zone 5. Japanese maple care is easy. With so many different sizes, colors and leaf shapes, it’s hard to describe a typical Japanese maple, but without exception, these attractive trees with their refined growth habit are an asset to the home landscape. Some have wide lobes, while others are finely dissected and lacy in appearance. We offer a large selection of the best dwarf laceleaf and tall Japanese Maple tree varieties to fit any landscape design need. The tree should have either been moved, or at most had a few limbs removed. Apply a loose mulch, such as wood chips or pine needles over the planted area to a depth of 4 to 6 inches. Proper fertilization of healthy trees Proper fertilization is one of the keys to successfully growing Japanese maples. Japanese maple trees are commonly used in bonsai as well. Some notable cultivars include: Vanessa Richins Myers is a seasoned horticulturist, garden writer and educator with 10+ years of experience in the horticulture and gardening space. Pruning Japanese maples is rarely necessary in mature trees, if they have been trained when young. In bright sun, especially in windy locations, the delicate foliage is easily scorched. Until your tree is well-established, take the time to water it whenever the soil feels dry, particularly when it hasn't been raining much. The hardiest Japanese Maple we have seen, it features finely cut red-purple foliage throughout the spring and summer months. How to prune or trim a Japanese maple. Japanese maples are an exception to the common pruning times of fall and winter because of the sap that will ooze from the cuts in those seasons; this can lead to disease and a weakened tree. You can also control the appearance of the Japanese maple by choosing whether to train a single trunk or to allow multiple trunks to form. The Japanese maple is a small tree that will fit into almost any yard. With such easy care and beauty, nothing is more rewarding than planting a Japanese maple in the landscape. Growing Japanese maples make excellent specimen or lawn trees. Diseases and other problems to watch out for include scorch, bark split, tar spot, verticillium wilt, leaf spots, twig kill, and manganese deficiency. Sign up for our newsletter. You can propagate a Japanese maple through seeds and softwood cuttings. Step 4 How to Trim the Top of a Maple Tree 1. Japanese maples like a cool, lightly shaded position in fertile, free-draining soil, out of direct sun in summer. Cut Intertwining Branches. Japanese maple flowers are small and red or purple; these become a dry winged fruit called a samara that is about a half-inch long. Introducing "One Thing": A New Video Series, The Spruce Gardening & Plant Care Review Board, The Spruce Renovations and Repair Review Board. The Spruce uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. There are many different textures of leaves. Pruning the upright Japanese maple involves four main steps. Caring for Japanese maples in summer is mainly a matter of providing enough water to prevent stress. 3. How to Prune a Maple Tree. Protecting your Japanese maple from harsh winter conditions is certainly a good idea as they are a bit temperamental in Canada. Perfect for small yards that need vibrant color and flare, this maple is a lovely focal tree. Otherwise you end up with an explosion of buds at the branch end and a forever ugly lollipop tree mess. A. As a solitary specimen it is breathtaking, its fall foliage remaining for weeks, then falling into a brilliant pool of crimson, orange, or gold on the garden floor. Momiji tempura is a snack popular in Osaka made from deep-frying salted Japanese maple leaves in a sweet batter and the tree features heavily in classical Japanese art and poetry. Fertilizing Japanese Maples. Prune for safety first, removing dead and dying branches at the point where they connect to the trunk. Pull the mulch back a few inches from the trunk to prevent rot. (Yes, we check the tree’s stability every year to be sure it can remain in its space safely!) Japanese maples make a beautiful addition to any landscape design. Compared with many other trees and shrubs they have few pests or diseases and are versatile enough to thrive in locations ranging from full shade to full sun. Stop when the water begins to run off. In general, it can be said that it is carried out in a way that … Japanese maples are noted for their lacy, finely-cut leaves, brilliant fall color, and delicate structure. Adding a 3-inch (7.5 cm.) They may come in green or red. 4 The best time for pruning is July-August when sap won’t ooze from the branches. Your Bloodgood Japanese maple should be about one inch above the level of the surrounding soil. Apply the water to the root zone slowly so that the soil can absorb as much water as possible. Grow green leaf varieties of Japanese maples in hot, dry climates. Pour a few cups of water into the hole. Some Japanese maples may only grow 6 to 8 feet (1.5 to 2 m.), but others will achieve 40 feet (12 m.) or more. How-to: Planting and Caring for Japanese Maple Trees. Gently tease the roots apart with your hand or a small spade, then place the root ball in the center of the hole. The shape is usually round or vase-like. Use upright types as understory trees in woodland gardens. Your next concern should be branches that intertwine or cross since they … layer of mulch helps the soil retain moisture and inhibits the growth of weeds. Cultivate the soil with a garden spade to keep it loose and aerated. Velvet Viking™ Japanese Maple Zone: 4 – 9. This bonus content accompanies “Maples for All Seasons”-an article all about the tree that presents many options in size, form, leaf shape and color—in the Autumn 2016 issue of Garden Design magazine. Although Japanese maples prefer well-draining soil, they also like to receive regular waterings. The easiest way to regulate the moisture level of the soil surrounding a Japanese maple is to mulch it. You can also feed it again in summer as needed. 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